This is part of the Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, hosted by Crystal over at In The Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood, to commemorate the 136th birthday of Ethel Barrymore, and to celebrate the entire Barrymore family, from the 3 siblings, Ethel, John, and Lionel all the way down to present day, with Drew Barrymore.
Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Aug 2015)
Brief Synopsis – In order to try and get his career back on track, famous actor John Barrymore rents a theater in order to prepare for his return to the stage as Richard III.
My Take on it – I gotta admit that before watching this movie, the extent of my real knowledge of any of the Barrymore’s was the fact that Drew was an actress.
I personally forgot all about her family connections to the movie and stage industries.
I purposefully chose this film because I hoped it would help broaden my knowledge of the Barrymore dynasty.
I actually thought it was a biopic which would hopefully give me lots of information about them.
Fortunately, I was quite wrong, this movie isn’t a biopic at all, but rather the film presentation of the one-man show (almost) that won actor Christopher Plummer a Tony.
This is done in a similar vain to the way that the movie Give ‘Em Hell Harry (1975) portrays the life of Harry Truman.
Plummer does an amazing job here just as James Whitmore did for Truman giving the viewer so much insight into the life, politics and personal turmoil of the famed actor from the early part of the 20th Century.
I mentioned earlier that this is an “almost” one-man show and that is because Plummer interacts in a few scenes with a stage hand named Frank who’s job it is to feed him lines in order to prepare for his upcoming performance as Richard III, but it is ultimately Plummer who makes Barrymore come to life before our very eyes.
Bottom Line – I’m very glad I got to see this portrait of a man who was such a great actor and wanted to get back to a life of acting. Plummer was amazing in this (almost) one man show and helped me understand more about Barrymore’s life and trials. He won a Tony for this portrayal and it was transferred to the screen very well. Very reminiscent of Whitmore’s portrayal of Truman in Give ‘Em Hell Harry (1975). Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The play was originally produced at the Stratford Festival of Canada in 1996. The play was produced on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre, running from March 25, 1997 to November 2, 1997. Directed by Gene Saks, Christopher Plummer played Barrymore, and won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. (From Wikipedia)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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